Most young women in Tennessee are now members of the workforce in some capacity. Employment law lays out a framework of expectations and provides certain protections to employees. One such right is protection from discrimination due to issues such as race, gender or religion. A woman who worked for the startup company WeWork is filing a sexual discrimination case based on how she was treated during her pregnancies.
The woman in the suit claims that she was discriminated against during and after two pregnancies that took place while she was an employee of the company. She claimed she was demoted as a result of one pregnancy and had her role diminished in the other. Rather than referring to her post-partum absences as periods of leave, she claimed the management would refer to the absences as vacation or retirement.
There is a chance that the suit could become a class action suit if other women come forward. There is a current belief that other startups may be tolerating sexist and discriminatory behavior. A class action suit could send a message that pregnant women cannot be forced out of their jobs or otherwise discriminated against.
Work can provide a person with a sense of dignity and worth that should not be lessened by inappropriate behavior in the workplace. No one should have to fear for their job because of their gender. If the message is sent clearly enough that such behavior will not be tolerated, the atmosphere that allows such defiance of employment law in Tennessee may gradually disappear.